Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States, is diagnosed in more than one million people per year. Radiation and chemotherapy are systemically toxic treatments that indiscriminately kill healthy cells and cancer cells alike. Chemotherapy could be significantly improved by selectively targeting cancer cells. Prodrugs, chemotherapeutic precursors that become active either over time or at a target site, are of interest here. Most prodrugs benefit from either increased temporal control (timed release), or increased spatial control (targeted release). However, very few prodrugs have both temporal and spatial control. TRI/Austin is proposing to develop a prodrug based on a conjugate of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and Floxuridine that can be activated by UV light. The PEG renders the prodrug completely non-toxic. Due to the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect of PEG conjugates in solid tumors, the prodrug will selectively accumulate in cancer tissue. Once activated by UV light, Floxuridine is released and signals apoptosis. The PEG byproduct, as well as any un-activated prodrug, is eventually cleared from the body. This approach minimizes the systemic toxicity of common chemotherapeutics, and can be applied to most existing cancer drugs.
Small Business Information at Submission:
TEXAS RESEARCH INSTITUTE AUSTIN, INC.
9063 Bee Caves Road Austin, TX 78733
Number of Employees: